The AICPA has just released its 2019 Trends Report. This biennial report identifies key trends in the U.S. for both supply (accounting enrollments and graduations) and demand (hiring of new graduates in the public accounting sector).
On the supply side, there is good and bad news. Bachelor and graduate enrollments are down but still at historically high levels. The number of people sitting for the CPA Exam dipped to its lowest level in 10 years. Some but not all of that can be attributed to candidates rushing to take the exam in 2016 before a scheduled change to its length and complexity. The good news is that our efforts at increasing diversity in the profession are starting to pay off. While enrollment by gender is nearly even at both the bachelor's and master's levels, racial/ethnic diversity has increased with the highest percentage of nonwhite enrollees to date.
The demand side has shown more radical shifts. The report shows a 30% decline in hiring of new accounting graduates. As firms adapt to new technologies, they are hiring nonaccounting grads to help change how they deliver tax and audit services and to help them make that important shift to advisory services. You can download the full Trends Report here.